Natalie informs me that I'm the only person who does this, so since it's something that makes me unique I feel I must blog about it. Heh...
When I read a blog entry or message board post about sickness I start to feel like it's catching. Lately on the message boards and blogs I read there have been some gripping and sometimes graphic accounts of whole families suffering from various seasonal ailments. Some of them have the flu, and there is a lot of discussion about who had the flu shot and still got it and to what degree...and did they catch it in the doctor's office, or did the shot lower their resistance, or is this year's shot just not as effective as it should be.
Then there are the tummy trouble postings...the ones that describe (in way too much detail for me) the slaying of an entire family by a vicious GI virus. One post I read recently was a strategic plan for dealing with said virus in a family with many children. The first point of the plan was accepting the fact that everyone in the family would soon have it. The author lost me right there; my first step in dealing with any illness is total denial. "It's just allergies."
Anyway, when I get done reading these posts or messages I find myself feeling slightly queasy, perhaps a little feverish, a trifle fatigued. I start looking at the children to see if they are paler than usual. I get up from the computer and wash my hands thoroughly. And it's usually at that point that it hits me: I only know these people through the Internet. The family I just read about lives across a continent from me. I've never met them, never shaken hands with them or hugged them, never been breathed on by them, never eaten at their table.
It's really highly unlikely I'm catching what they've got. (Besides, as my husband points out when I'm sharing this ridiculous phobia with him, we have a Mac and Macs don't get computer viruses.)
Meanwhile, we live and move in our own realm of this world. A world inhabited by people who get sick and share their germs. So while I am imagining catching dire illnesses from the virtual world, my son is busy socializing with virus-laden strangers at the grocery store, drinking from water fountains in public buildings, hugging his friends, etc. He's sick now, of course. Not that nasty GI thing, just a typical winter respiratory plague.
Or maybe it's just allergies...
PS...if you want to see what The Cat looks like in her human form, you can take a look at the Winston-Salem Journal's little profile of this blog. I know, a genteel lady is only supposed to have her name in the paper when she is born, marries, and dies. Oops.